Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

How to Live Life with Passion and Aliveness

How to live life with passion and aliveness. Express your aliveness by giving; of yourself, of your resources, of your heart. ― Patti Digh

 In our difficult world there are many easy solution; but these solutions are not always the best ones. If you are bored, you may spend your spare time engulfed in a combination of engagement with television, radio, movies; but wouldn’t you feel better if you actively tackled some project, some hobby, something to which you committed your creative passion?

If you are lazy, you can stick a precooked dinner in the oven, but perhaps you might have cooked a better meal yourself, and enjoyed the living involved in doing this chore.

You can even spend your day resting on your bed, all alone, sealed off from life, but couldn’t you do better? Needless to say, I am not against television, movies, radios, or precooked dinners; nor am I against resting in moderation.

What I am against is an essentially passive way of doing things. When you are passive, you retire from the excitement of life and the enjoyment of stimulating give-and-take. You move away from the life process; you kill life in yourself. Yet life can invade you, can inflict suffering on you, while you lie helplessly, passively, a victim of your own inertia.

You might say but “I am in debt” and “I have to save my energy for making money”. But does being a spectator help you? Yes you may have financial problems; most people do, but a boring and passive life will not stimulate you to overcome them. Your strength is not premature burial of your participation in life. It is in your passionate pursuance of an active philosophy, in optimistic, realistic, active living.

“Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.” ― David Steindl Rast

Do, create, and innovate. Stay in the world, and do not baby yourself. You do not have to be perfect, but you do have to take part, you do have to be involved, and you have to remain in the mainstream of life.

When we think of aliveness and passion, we think of a freshness and vigour, a spring to the step and a ring to the laugh. We think of driving curiosity, of eager creativity. If it is aliveness and passion that we seek so ardently, we can find it at any chronological stage in our lives. The American poet Helen Hunt Jackson once wrote that “whom the gods love, live young forever”.

I do not know who the “gods” love, but I do know that if you have a gentle respect for yourself, a belief in your fundamental goodness, you will feel alive and “young” as long as you live. You will not dedicate your life to indifference and complaint, to the emptying out of your sorrows and miseries into the nearest ears, which you hope will be sympathetic.

Aliveness, passion, vitality, aflame with earnest endeavour must be one of your most cherished aims in life regardless of any age.

When does your preparation start? It starts right now. If you are sixteen, forty six, or sixty six, it starts right now.

You begin with a basic process of self-education; it is a fairly simple process, yet we all seem to overlook it in the smothering clamour of miscellaneous, often irrelevant data that clutter up our minds in this hustle-bustle world of ours. In this self-educative process you need master the terminology of no dictionary. You don’t have to hold college degree or to understand the theory of relativity. You must simply come to grips with yourself. You must assert the power of integrity of your self-image. You must establish the authentic dignity of your self-image on a realistic base as a foundation for full living at present age; now.

Life is not a picnic; sometimes there is no food at all, and ants and mosquitoes to boot. You must survive your failure and disappointments; charge back off the floor and keep punching. There are no handouts; you can expect only what you give yourself. You can only count on the spark and fire and friendliness which you, the thinker, give you, the acting person in life.

“Own your disappointment, acknowledge it for what it is, and move on.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Suppose you lose your job or your business venture is failing. You feel depressed; who wouldn’t? You feel frustrated, perhaps nervous or angry. For two or three days you may be hard to get along with; and fair-weather friends will avoid you. But how are you thinking now that all this is in the past? Are you bogged down in a state of depression, blaming yourself for your mistakes, hating those whose actions hurt you? Is your mind a staccato messenger of criticism, piercing you with reminders of what you might have done and with what you might have been? Do you see yourself over and over, blundering, and hate what you see so much that you end up losing sight of yourself entirely, blotting out the self image that is your best friend in life?

Or do you see yourself kindly? Do you see yourself making mistakes, yet forgive yourself and tell yourself that you are only human? Do you then resolve to avoid this type of mistake, if possible, yet with a determination to accept yourself if you err again? Do you then see yourself in your good moments, making wise choices, carrying out intelligent actions, achieving what you wanted to achieve? Do you carry this image of yourself back into your mind, this image of yourself accomplishing your goals, this image of yourself as the kind of person you can be?

“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow” ―Michael Barata

If you can rebound from failure, any failure, in this accepting, non-judgemental, positive way, your self image once more restored, on your side, you will feel aliveness and vitality all the years of your life. Your problems will not terrify you when you think of them; instead you will feel hope because the pattern of your thinking is hopeful.

GOD created life in us so that we could live passionately and actively in this world HE fashioned. GOD made us, with our marvellous bodies and our complex minds, so that we could have meaning and happiness in our lives.

If you believe in a Higher Power, you must believe in the purpose in life, no matter how difficult the world may seem during depressing periods.

Tear fear from your heart; bury your negative thinking, and tell off friends who try to convince you that life is dull.

“Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have”


How We Find Happiness in Life

How We Find Happiness in Life. Happiness is life’s most desired goal. But we can never achieve it while we continue to look outside of ourselves, as it is an inside job.

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.

Throughout our evolutionary journey we have tried every strategy imaginable and searched almost everywhere in our quest for true happiness. We have had some great experiences and learnt a lot along the way, but we have never found what we are searching for. Eventually, we grow tired of searching and turn our attention to the one place we haven’t looked so far; inside ourselves. True happiness is not something that can be sought and acquired; it is our soul’s natural state of being, and we can only connect with by going within.

Anything we do, it is simply our inner quality that we are going to spread.  We cannot do anything of tremendous value for our planet until anything of accurate value occurs within us. Thus, if we want to be connected to the world, the first thing we must do is to transform ourselves right into a happy beings.

It doesn’t matter what we do in our life, whether it is business, studying or giving assistance to someone or some cause , we’re doing it because deep down, it gives us satisfaction. Each activity that every individual executes on this globe rises from a desire. We were not unhappy when we were a child, as joy and happiness is a source which resides within each one of us. So all we have to do, is to go for it and take charge of that joy which is residing in us.

Everything in universe is in order. The sun comes wonderfully well up in the sky.  The flowers flourish beautifully, no stars falls along, and the galaxies are functioning perfectly. Today, the whole cosmos is occurring divinely well, but just a negative thought worming up on our brain enables us to believe that today is a poor day.

Suffering occurs basically when most human beings shed perception in regards of what this life is all about. Our emotional process become far larger than the existential procedure, or our petty creation become far more critical compared to GOD’s Creations, to place it bluntly. This is the way to obtain all suffering. We miss the complete sense of what this means to be alive here. An emotion within us or a thought within our mind establishes the nature of the experience right now. And our thought may have nothing to accomplish even with the restricted reality of our lifestyle. The entire creation is happening beautifully well but just one considered emotion can ruin everything.

Anything we consider as “our mind” isn’t ours basically. It is merely society’s empty talk. Everyone and anyone whom we encounter on a daily base put some idea or information in our head and we truly have no choice about whose idea we accept or don’t accept. These information are advantageous once we learn HOW TO process them and use them. This accumulation of opinions and information that we collect is simply useful for our survival on the planet. It is not something which is related to who we are.

First thing we need to do in the morning when we get up, is to smile. At whom? No one. Since just the fact that we have woke up is not a small matter. A lot of thousands of people who slept yesterday evening didn’t wake up today. Isn’t it great that we woke up? So look as you wake up, look around you, if there is someone, and then smile at them. Because this morning, for numerous people, someone precious to them didn’t get up. Then venture out, take a deep breath and look at the bushes. They didn’t die yesterday either.

You may think this is really funny, but you won’t know its reality until someone dear to you doesn’t wakeup. So don’t wait until you understand the value of it. Appreciate what you have, be happy that you are alive and everyone who matters to you is still around.

Of course, people who do not have food or the basic needs for living can feel physically miserable and their needs must be addressed. Our duty as a human being is to help and take care of such people when we encounter them. But most people are unhappy not as a result of what they don’t have. It is because they compare their life to others. You are driving on a motorbike, you see somebody in a Mercedes and you become unhappy. But for someone who is driving a bicycle, your motorbike seems like a limousine.

Life is about learning and appreciating what GOD has created for us on this plant. It is not about twisting and distorting it. When we rely on the external situation to make us joyful and content, we could never feel true happiness. The quality of our life doesn’t depend on what car we drive, how much money we have in a bank account, or how big our house is, but how content and happy we feel inside.

Although each one of us is unique, and what works for one may not for other, but there are simply areas that tend to make a big difference to people’s happiness in life; and crucially they are all areas that are within our control:

1-         Care for others genuinely: Caring genuinely for others around us is essential to our happiness. Being caring means  wishing the best for others, and acknowledging in them the same wants, needs, aspirations, and even fears that we have too. It means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping our community without asking for a reward. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us.

2-         Connect with people: Happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know”. This means that by surrounding ourselves with happier people we become happier, we make the people close to us happier, and make the people close to them happier. People with strong and vast social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Close relationship with family and friends brings love, compassion, meaning and belonging into our lives and grow our sense of self-worth. “To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground” ~ Stephen Covey

3-         Notice the world around you: Taking Notice is about observing those things that we find beautiful and being mindful of them in our daily life. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment, to our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us; can improve our wellbeing. Becoming more aware of the present moment not only help us to enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better, but also recognize anew things that we have been taking for granted.

4-         Have something to look forward to: Happiness in anticipation is the key here. By having something to look forward to, no matter how our situations, bring happiness into our life, well before the circumstance happen. If your life is series of undesirable duties, commitments, and unpleasant tasks, take some time to find out something that YOU would find enjoyable. And make time to do it.  “Happiness is the anticipation and the realization of the fulfilment of a dream”.

5-         Avoid false beliefs and expectations:  Our authentic happiness is blocked by our false belief that life should be how we want it to be. The expectation that accompanies this false belief sets us up for disappointment, frustration, anger and unhappiness”. Our expectations create our reality and they change our lives emotionally and physically. Unreasonable expectations can make life extremely hard and unhappy. These expectations are actually designed by our ego, as nothing give our ego a stronger sense of self-identity as an experience that supports our sad life-story. “In other words, we unconsciously create expectations so we can feel sad and disappointed when they are not met. Our ego is addicted to sadness and painful emotions”. Master to drop all expectations and open your heart, begin to love yourself, and move beyond your ego. Embrace freedom from your ego.

6-         Be comfortable with who you are: Finding ourselves, our authenticity will help us to feel our beauty. When we endeavour to be who we are, to be true to ourselves, and accept ourselves with all our flaws and imperfections, we will automatically feel attractive and unique. Beauty is never dependent upon the approval of others. Quite the contrary, beauty is very much self-defined and self-created. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh.  By accepting ourselves and becoming kinder to ourselves we will be able to see our shortcomings as opportunities to learn and grow.

7-         Find a purpose in life:  We all have intact potential, perhaps even areas of intelligence, to become something entirely different, or somehow more than what we appear to be right now. People who find meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do. They become less stressed, anxious, or depressed. But how do we find meaning and purpose in life? We’re all wired differently. Some of us feel more connected to nature, others find meaning by employing in nurturing. The key is to know what works for us. Learning to live our purpose is essentially a spiritual exercise, and an inside job.  Search how and what give you that sense of fulfilment and deep connection; and then peruse it in all that you do.

8-         Train yourself to be more positive: There is the positive aspect in everything, in every person, in every situation. Sometimes it’s not obvious and we have to look hard. Even when we are faced with a difficult situation we can think to ourselves “What is good about this?” No matter how unpleasant the circumstance might look, we always can find something good if we take the time to think about it. Everything, good or bad is a learning experience. And there is always lesson to be gained from every bad experience. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there” ~ Paulo Coelho

9-         Live Mindfully: “Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference” ~ Virginia Satir. Life is full of challenges. The way we manage them, can make a difference between whether we let them to control our lives, or we find a way to embrace every challenge as it arises. By practicing mindfulness we can find a more empowering way to react to the challenges life brings us. It also helps us to train our mind, manage our thoughts and feelings, and reduce stress and depression.

10-       Take care of your body: “Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha. There is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioural factors can directly affect our health. Being active makes us happier as well as healthier. By spending time outdoors, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep, we can improve our wellbeing. A serene mind really is nothing without a healthy body to carry it, so show your body the same compassion that you show everyone, by taking care of it.

It is positively time now that we look inside of ourselves and see HOW TO produce personal wellbeing. From our own experience of life we can clearly observe that wellbeing will come to us when we change our perception on life. We need to realize, if we are determined to create our happiness and wellbeing by the outside factors it will never happens. As nothing will be %100 the way we want them to be. When we accept this fact, then we will be able to work on ourselves as an individual to become the person we want to be. And happiness will be our only choice which has been our authentic nature by creation in the first place. “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

 


Continuous Personal Growth

Continuous personal growth involves a lifelong of reflecting, connecting, and learning which enhance our understanding of who we are, the world around us, and provide us with more and better opportunities to improve our quality of life.

To be able to improve we have to accept that something about us needs to be changed, and when we are ready to unlock the perceptions that we have created over the years, then we can start living a joyous life of change and growth.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

As we go through life, our main attention is usually on external world and the material possessions, but the reality is that the most important thing that we have to focus our energy on, is the development of self into the person we want to become. And when we achieve a real connection to our authentic self and realize our true purpose, all the external achievements and successes will pursue anyway.

“Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. On-going, continuous, nonstop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.” ~ Brian Tracy

Over the years, I have learned to practice and focus my energy on the proven track of actions and beliefs that had helped me to improve the quality of my life and the state of my mind.

Here are the strategies that have worked well for me . . .

  • Be present: The method for being present is really simple, but it needs practice. When we practice something regularly, we become good at it. It becomes like a mode of being rather than a task on our to-do list. Whatever you’re doing, at any time, learn to focus completely on doing that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of what you’re doing, to your body, to the sensations, to your thoughts. It might become tiring at the beginning, if you’re not used to it. Let yourself rest if you grow tired and come back and practice it again. After a while you realize how your worries fade away and you enjoy your present task much more. When we learn to be joyful in whatever we’re doing, grateful that we’re able to do that task, and appreciate every movement and sensation of the task, then we become aware that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle. ‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’ ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
  • Stop seeking approval from others: When we have a need for approval we value the beliefs and opinions of others above our own, it becomes addictive and we can quickly develop a need for more. Once we stop worrying about how other people would think of us, how our decisions might disappoint others, or how they might judge us, we become free to be fully authentic selves. The biggest irony with approval-seeking behaviour is that it usually causes the opposite results to those which are intended. If you take a moment to observe those people whom you respect most, you will find that one of their strongest traits is their ability to be true to who they are. There is usually so much pressure from society, peers and media to conform to certain standards and ideals. But if we are led through life always and only really doing and being what we’ve come to believe is ‘expected of us’, then, in a way, we cease to exist, to live, and be real. When you cease being worried about people’s disapprovement of you, a whole new world of personal possibility opens before you.
  • Reflect on Transformational Moments: We all have critical and determining moments in our lives. We come to a fork in our life, and we make a choice that will affect everything since. Once the choice is made, we can never withdraw and start over again because circumstances and people involved change. Words have been said, lives affected and these can never return to the original form. Looking back on those focal points in our past is a great way to look at how far we’ve come, and to discover where we want to be in the future. Always evaluate your options, and consider how they will affect your principles and values. Each one of us has a set of values that define who we are. If one option has you compromise your values, no matter how profitable it may be, it will not be worth the risk. There are a number of people who have reflected, after picking a fork in their road, “There was just something that didn’t feel right, but I did it anyway.” If it doesn’t feel right, you can’t force it to be right. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest” ~ Confucius
  • Move past failure: “The major difference between achieving people and average people is their perception of and response to failure” ~John C. Failure is a part of testing the limits of what we know, and it’s an opportunity to learn how to take that next step forward. The truth is that when we experience failure, we’re growing, stretching, and expanding. Each setback, whether small or large is an opportunity for growth. When we change our perception toward failure, then we will be able to use it as stepping-stone to success instead of a stumbling block. But first we have to acknowledge it. Our initial tendency is often to blame others or some uncontrollable, external factors. But rarely are the failures in our lives entirely the responsibility of someone else. And until we take personal responsibility in some capacity, we can never move on to the next step. After we accepted our failure, then we can look back at them as simply feedback that can take us to another level of awareness. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill’
  • Teach, and learn by teaching: “The beautiful thing about teaching is that our legacy is defined in what we give and empower others to do, not only in what we do ourselves”. Wisdom is understanding where we have been, and how we got to where we are now. All of us have experiences and wisdom worth sharing with others. One of the best way of personal growth and change is to listen to other people’s experiences and sharing ours. Have you ever helped a friend through a difficult time and then you became aware that you feel better and happier? Our most lasting and fulfilling achievements in life are often earned by helping others fulfil theirs. As if when we help, encourage, and enable others to reach their dreams, we can also achieve our dreams along the way. Giving and helping others is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. And it may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful. “Making the conscious commitment to empower yourself by directing your thoughts, energy and focus toward what you most want and the goals you need to achieve is the first step towards creating an extraordinary life.” ~ Tony Robbins

 


Basic Human Needs

Basic human needs are that of recognition. To be appreciated, seen, loved and respected for who we are.  “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important than meeting our basic human needs. If we focused less on retina display ipads and more on the vision of a world where all people’s basic needs are met, we will all be happier as a result.” ~ Simon Cohen

There are six basic human needs that we all look for in our lives to be happy and feel fulfilled. Tony Robbins, who is well known for his motivational speaking, books, interviews and articles; has explained in his article “The 6 Human Needs: Why We Do What We Do” that all behaviour is simply an attempt to meet these six needs:

  • Certainty: We all need certainty in life, but everybody is different in how much certainty they need. We all need assurance which can prevent us from pain and help us to gain pleasure. A life which doesn’t have a certain amount of order can cause chaos.
  • Uncertainty: This is opposite certainty, but very much needed in everyone’s life to keep the spirit up and alive. The amazing thing about certainty and uncertainty is that how each one of us responds to them so differently, as what is so exciting and normal to one person, might be distressful for another.
  • Connection: Each one of us craves for connection. No matter who we are, and what we do, we all need to be belonged, to be accepted and to be loved for who we are. We need connection with others as much as we need oxygen. It may not seem so critical most times, but I firmly believe that if we truly want to be healthy and happy, connection is one of the most important aspects of personal fulfilment and success. “One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night” ~ Margaret Mead
  • Significance: We all want to be mattered, to be heard, to be able to make a difference in the world, which in return empowers our souls.
  • Growth: Human beings are constantly growing and developing, even those who are almost entirely absorbed in struggling for material survival or aspiring for higher social achievements. But that growth has been most often subconscious, as a result of the trials and errors of life experience, rather than as a result of a conscious process of self-development. Through a conscious effort at developing our personalities, we experience new things, understand ourselves better, expand our capacities, progress our personal capability and understandings.
  • Contribution: They say we all live to serve. That by helping others we fulfil our own destiny. Inherently, we all know that we have been designed to live for something greater than ourselves. Our contribution to this world has to be measured by something more meaningful than the size of our house or numbers of our cars. Our lives are going to find lasting significance in how we choose to live them, and how we enable others to live theirs. “Using your talent, hobby or profession in a way that makes you contribute with something good to this world is truly the way to go.” ~ Simon Zingerman

Personal fulfilment is an ongoing journey for all human beings. It is the achievement of life goals which are important to an individual, in contrast to the goals of society, family and other collective obligations. And helping others to find and fulfil their dreams is one of the key component of achieving our personal fulfilment.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My intention of writing this article is to bring your focus on one thing today and that is one thing that people everywhere no matter in a café, restaurant, train station or at the airport, on street, or at work are trying very hard to do: to be happy

Most of us are doing everything we can do to make us happy. Happiness, however, comes in various shades none of which is permanent. But the point is that happiness is not absolute and it doesn’t depend on the object of our delight itself but on the state of our mind too. We take pleasure as long as we are not bored, and to avoid boredom, we socialize, shop, dine out, watch TV and do different things.  These activities are good, but they don’t make us better human beings. What I am Trying to say is that we have to embrace happiness when it comes our ways, but we don’t let it to be our ultimate goals in life. Otherwise, we are likely to find little growth, purpose, fulfilment in our lives. And we may find ourselves living solely for our own good rather than enriching the lives of others.  “What sets human beings apart from animals is not the pursuit of happiness, which occurs all across the natural world, but the pursuit of meaning, which is unique to humans” ~ Roy Baumeister

Life is short, the clock is ticking and before we know twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more years of our lives have already gone. Maybe you are satisfied with how your life has turned out or maybe you want to do or be something more. Well, it’s never too late to start. To live a meaningful and fulfilling life, find out what matters most to you in this world and then choose to make an impact with it. “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment” ~ Anthony Robbins

Helping others ignites happiness, as many studies have revealed. And by assisting and supporting others meet their needs, we help them to improve the quality of their life and have more meaningful and fulfilling life. Rather than living our lives on auto-pilot, we need to take control and seek opportunities in our lives that will add a new depth and sense of fulfilment to our lives.

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others” ~  Pablo


The Purpose of Life

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Throughout my life, I we all have untapped potential, perhaps even areas of genius, to become something entirely different, or somehow more than what we appear to be right now. Each of us has the ability to give contributions that will last longer than our lifespan. Some people have a clear vision of their purpose early on in life, it’s as if their path was laid out for them and they simply had to take the first step. But for some of us the vision is unclear and the path difficult to find. We find asking ourselves: Is this the life I was meant to live? Is this all there is?

“We have one precious life: do something extraordinary today, even if it’s tiny. A pebble starts the avalanche.” ~K.A. Laity

Let us not thinking that there is only one purpose for us and embrace the idea that our purpose in life is to love life fully by putting ourselves into our life! To lead a life on purpose, means to follow our passions and succeed in our dreams. It means that we make more of our talents and live up to our full potential. Whether our concept of success has to do with business, love, friendship, sports, a combination of these or something else, more fully developing our potential will help us to achieve our goals, and that is the purpose of life. If we can learn to assess our potential, set realistic goals, and go after those goals with determination, organization, using our potential more fully, gaining confidence, and be a happier and more successful person, then we will be able to achieve the purpose of our life.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Claim Your Values: Values are the backbone of our life. We all have them, they are ingrained in us as our blood types or our preference for sweet or salty foods. I’m not talking about morals, which are defined by society. Values are who we are, not who we think we should be in order to fit in. If we don’t realize what’s important to us, we spend a lot of time wandering and wondering what we should be doing. There is tremendous power in discovering and living according to our highest values, and experiencing inner peace as the natural consequence. Sometime after evaluating our values, we realize that our urban lifestyle works against those values and leaves us disconnected and drained. Values serve as a compass so that, day after day, we’re moving closer and closer to our definition of the “best” life we could possibly live.
  • Find Your Passions: In this chaotic modern time, most people live in their head rather than their heart. Our heart is our best tool to access our true purpose and passion. “Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you are tremendously passionate about” ~ S. Pavlina. We have to ask ourselves, what we love and take steps to do what we love. When we are inspired and connected to our happy self, inspiration floods our hearts and souls. When we lead from our heart, we are naturally more joyful and motivated to explore. It could make all the difference in our life! If we don’t think we’re in the job that we were born to do, we won’t be able living up to our full potential and lead a life on purpose.
  • Identify Your Strengths: “To express the best of yourself in life and work, you must identify and channel your unique strengths.” If we want to live a life on purpose, we have to focus on our strengths and manage around our weaknesses. In order to recognize our strengths, we need other people to hold up a mirror. When we see our reflection through the eyes of those who know us well, then we begin to identify our most unique talents. When it comes to assessing our own strengths and talents, we’re full of blind spots. If we can see ourselves through the lenses of others, our vision will become less blurry
  • Find Yourself: “The intersection of your true values and super powers, backed with relentless passion, is where the magic happens.” ~ Scott Dinsmore. When we find where those three things intersect, and use it to service others, then we’ll find our purpose in life, and will be able to drive a life on that purpose. The key is to figure out how we can combine our passions and strengths to service to a cause, a person, a community, or an organization other than ourselves. Once we do that, our values will fall into place. Our purpose doesn’t have to be something BIG. The value of our impact on others and on the world has nothing to do with its scale. The fact is that in order for our world to function, we need people living and contributing at all kinds of different levels. “There are people for everything”. If we each could find and inhabit the sphere where we’re supposed to be, and contribute what we were made to contribute, what a beautiful world it would be!

There is a reason that we are all here in this world, and it is all about the discovery of our true Self. That very real part of us that is wanting to bring forth something so spectacular. If we are true to who we are, living our purpose and giving off our talents to the world around us, then we give back in service what we came to share with others – our spirit – our essence. The rewards for sharing our gifts with those close to us is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what we have done to them.

“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out what your purpose is.” ~ Mark Twain


Finding Inner Peace

Finding inner peace is the path of letting go, even though, the path could be as hard or simple as a person makes the journey of self acceptance.

 “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe” ~ Marcus Aurelius

There are always many ups and downs in every one’s life. Sometimes we get stuck in a world of confusion, wondering how we find a constant inner peace in our hearts and lives, when there is always something wrong in our lives or the lives of those we love.

What happens when we start to feel down or stressed?

First of all some kind of negative thought comes into our mind that gets us discouraged and anxious. The next thing that happens, is that we start believing in that thought. And feeding it with more arguments, which in turn gets us into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing we know, we find ourselves, there in that deep mud hole. We look around and all is doom and gloom.

What can we do so that this does not even happen?

  • Accept what is: Life is unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes; and of course, a lot of things can happen that will transform who we are and have an impact on our life. The problem is that we need to be prepared to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it. This is what I have noticed with so many people, in that we focus and linger on things which we have no control over. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking? Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. By practicing acceptance we learn to live in this changing world, where we never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is like protecting ourselves with our own shields.” You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Meditate: Meditation makes us mentally strong, and emotionally resilient. It reduces the tendency to react, increases the tendency to respond and is an effective way to de-stress our minds. If you are not meditating yet then, you are missing out on a very important activity that can change your  When you have a lot on your mind and you feel like your thoughts are driving you crazy, meditation can help you find peace, calmness and more self acceptance. Meditation helps turning one’s life into a more beautiful, harmonious and happy one. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony, then everything seems right with the world.Through concentration and meditation you become the boss of your mind, and gain the ability to tell it when to be active and when to stay silent” ~ Remez Sasson
  • Spend time in nature: Nature calls you back to reality. We can’t stop it from raining. We can’t delay the setting sun. We can’t set the temperature to a comfortable degree. When we are climbing a mountain, our muscles are going to burn. But with this surrender comes such relief! We awake from a dream and realize how little control we really have. We remember that hardship and lack of control are part of life, and accepting this reality makes it not only bearable, but possible to feel the joy of being alive. By being in nature we feel comfortable in our own skin, we experience our own quiet peace and strength, we sense the inner us that is the true us. The mask we present to the outer world is irrelevant for a time, and put in its proper place. Nature helps us to connect with this powerful, loving presence, whether we call it GOD, Earth Mother, the Great Mystery or any another name. Nature brings us closer to GOD, our own spirit and helps us to live lives of meaning and joy. “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ~ Anne Frank
  • Learn the power of a smile: A smile is a powerful key to living happy from the inside out. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. Smiles are powerful and contagious. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Never stop smiling! God smiles on us each and every day. His love has no depth, his mercy no end. His arms are open wide, just step into them. “Smile and the world will smile with you.” 
  • Choose to help others: Care for others genuinely around you. What you put out, you really get back in life. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us. When we make a positive impact in someone else’s life, we also make a positive impact in our own lives. Any act of kindness and goodwill eases our way towards inner peace. When we start helping others, we stop thinking about our so-called problems and then we realize that our life is not so bad after all. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dicken
  • Never lose hope: Never give up. Never lose hope. Always have faith, it allows you to cope better during the trying times. Having hope is a personal decision, a bold conviction—a choice, and with hope we always have a path towards peace. Having hope is an active, decisive mindset etched into every single moment. No matter the haze and fog that clouds our vision, hope’s laser cuts through, and never losing sight of her shimmering stars. Hope is something we can never afford to lose  Who we really are is based on values we choose to live by, such as believing in the possible, believing in the goodness of others, and believing in the power of love and hope. When we decide to passionately pursue our greatest purpose, then we become the hope in our lives and manifest her greatest dreams, because we refuse to consider any other possibility. As Henry James put it, “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
  • Embrace your beliefs: I am not here to favour any belief system over another, but whatever it is that you are believing in, hold it closely in your arms, accept it willingly and enthusiastically, as by being within your faith, peace will find its way into your heart. We all might have different opinion in regards to our belief systems, but one thing that we all have to acknowledge is that without a healthy and solid belief system, we won’t be able to find a fair conscience which could show us the way towards peace and wisdom. “Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. In the   end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.” ~ Dan Brown 
  • Live in the present moment: When we live fully in the present moment, our awareness becomes completely centred on the here and now. We won’t worry about the future or thinking about the past. How often have you been worrying about things that have yet to come, or how often have you been beating yourself for mistakes that you’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? Too much time, I believe. Not only living in present moment has a significant effect on our emotional health, but also it has a great impact on our physical wellbeing. By living in present moment we live in acceptance; we accept life the way it is, not the way we wish, it should have been. And when we live in acceptance, we realize that everything is complete as it is. We can forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, and we can have peace in our hearts knowing that everything that should happen will. “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”

Finding inner peace is not a simple or short path, but it is a process that we can all learn. It is a journey which needs to be appreciated every step of the way. We have to be willing to let go and step outside the box that we have accepted ourselves to be put into, in the first place and start from scratch. We have to be ready getting to know ourselves all over again and be willing to make mistakes. And most importantly, we have to realize that only we have control over our emotional responses and reactions and they can be changed for the better. And finally when serenity and unconditional love fill our hearts, we will accept that we cannot go back, and will not give up what we have now found, that peace that we seem to have been searching for our whole lives. “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” ~ Rumi

 

 


Self Image

Self image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. ~ Maxwell Maltz

“Uncertainty” is the key word in our lives. We must live with uncertainty and lead our ship through life’s rugged path, or retreat from life into a womb, an illusion since there are few guarantees to reassure us. We must learn to master these dangers to the best of our ability, and still live contentedly.

“Life Is Like Riding a Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving” ~ Albert Einstein

After the “traumatic” process of our birth, we live the uncertain, minute-by-minute moments of infants in which a tolerant smile is followed by an indignant roar of rage and a howl of laughter, all within the space of thirty seconds.

Then it come the uncertainties of childhood, in which we depend on our parents, where destinies fluctuate according to complex economic, emotional, and sociological factors which we cannot yet understand.

The period of adolescence that follows is even more uncertain. Are we children or adults, or what we are? How should we behave toward adults? What is this called sex; is it good or bad and whose opinion do we ask and what do you do about it? Why do my parents still treat me as a child? Am I grown up, or am I?

Adulthood brings with it new problems, new uncertainties. The choice of vocations, the decisions to be made about marriage, marriage partner, and children, about business commitments and political views, insurance protection and community participations, or non-involvement, gambling or non-gambling strategies. I could write pages and pages on the conflicts a responsible adult must face and the uncertainties surrounding his decisions and the outcomes of his considered choices.

Throughout their lives most people worry about tragedy striking, the breadwinner losing their jobs, a fire that wipes out one’s home, an automobile accident in which a loved one is crippled, and these are real possibilities that one must learn to live without burying his head in the sand.

What is the answer to this dilemmas of life? It is simple, really, more life, reaffirmation of life, while there is life – life, with the help of a healthy self image that will give you the sense of certainty you need.

Some day we will all die, that is GOD’s law of life and there is nothing we can do about it. But while we lived, did we truly live?

Did we really live or just occupy space while we went through motions of living? Did we enjoy every year, every month, every week, and every day – or did we manage to passively endure the dull moments? Did we see the green trees, smell the beautiful flowers, share with our friends, taste our lamb chops, love our work – or were we so obsessed with worry that life could not enter into our troubled minds?

“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it” ~ Leo Buscaglia

As babies, we are born with smile coming through the first howl of pain, while we live, we must live constructively so that time and again a smile might break through the pain.

Now what about friendship – one of the chief ingredients of a rich life? There is a saying to the effect that “dog is a man’s best friend,” but I do not automatically fall in this silly sayings like this. I am fond of dogs, but if my observations are correct, a dog will be far from your best friend if you do not take care of him in the style to which he is accustomed.

Man’s best friend – any man’s best friend, is his self image. If he sees himself as a good guy, he is on the road to contentment; if he doesn’t, he will cause his own downfall.

“Love yourself and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. You deserve the same love you give others”

John or Mary or Tom may be your friend and may be a valued friend, but your best friend is your self image. Another person may like you, may even go out of his way to help you in a crisis, but he cannot participate completely in your joys and  heartaches; more he cannot give you the capacity for success or failure, for self-acceptance or self-esteem. Your self image can give you this capacity and a sense of certainty as you live. If you see yourself as agreeable, if your picture of yourself is satisfying, you live with marvellous form of certainty; the conviction that when uncontrollable factors go against you and events temporarily oppose your desires, you will support yourself.

There will always be moment of adversity hitting you from the external world, as well as self doubts plaguing you from within. The real test of friendship for yourself is whether you rally to your own aid when you need the consoling sustenance of your best friend – YOU.

When you are sure of this internal cushion in crisis, then you know how to be certain in this uncertain world.

“We can learn to be our own best friend.  If we do, we have a friend for life.  We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else” ~ Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz

You can say to yourself “But the uncertainty is real; how can I relax?” You may protest that my point of view is not realistic. But I assure you that it is. And I assure you that I, too, know of life’s dangers as I have experienced them a lot in my life. We all go through grief, loss, shock, horror, and misfortune at some stage of our lives. There may be times in our lives that we feel tired, depressed and even walking sometimes seems an effort. Our thoughts may be incoherent and we lose contact with reality and retreat from the world of people and pain. But finally we realize that we have to continue with our life. We begin to see friends again. We learn to laugh again, and pick up the pieces and put them together. This is the way you must live your life. You must survive struggles, survive uncertainty, pick yourself off the floor, and go back to a creative living. But you need a friend at times like this, your self image, for a proper self image is the powerhouse within you that enables you to stand up under stress. Indeed, the power of your self image, intangible as it is, can outdistance the uncertainties with which you may wrestle.

Life holds many surprises for us, not all pleasant, and the person who would live creatively in today’s world must develop a strong self image. You cannot rely on luck and you cannot base your life on the opinion of other people. You must do it yourself and do it in a world full of frustrations and dangers. You must constantly work to improve your mental image of yourself, to feel better about yourself. You can do this if you are willing to work hard, without preconceptions of magical solutions, following these suggestions:

  • Every day you have many occasions to look into mirror; when you brush your teeth, when you wash your face, when you shave, when you powder your nose, or comb your hair. Go beyond these simple functions and use the mirror to help you, to become reacquainted with the outer image of a self you may have lost sight of in the rushing pace of life today.
  • Learn to accept this physical image of yourself and the inner self behind it.
  • You must recover your sense of self. Many people have lost this sense and do not understand that they have lost it or the sorrowful consequences of this loss.

You have to understand this: You can have expensive house. Two cars, a sizable bank account, and real estate, and still feel poor, if you have lost touch with a wholesome self image of yourself.

If you feel poor, then uncertainties will frighten you, and you will find them all around you.

Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman writer, once commented that “the only certainty is that nothing is certain”.  But the life insecurities need not worry you; they need not keep you from full living. Not if you feel that you are a worthwhile person. You must be able to allow yourself joy. You must feel at one with yourself. Then a sense of security will replace worry, and you will be able to live happily with a minimum of uncertainty.

 


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” ~ Buddha

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


Living A Simple Life

Living a simple life – With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we can often find ourselves yearning for a quieter, simpler way of living.  If your life has come to resemble an endless race to the finish line, take a look at the suggestions below to bring a greater sense of calm, simplicity and peace back into your life.

1) Less is more.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” we can accumulate in our homes because we think they’ll contribute to our lives.  It’s true that we gain enjoyment from material possessions, but the more we accumulate the more burdened we often feel.  Eventually we find ourselves living under a constant cloud of confusion, scattered thoughts and stress.

Begin immediately to clear out the material possessions you no longer need or want, and donate them to a local charitable organization.  This will accomplish two things:  first, you’ll feel lighter and less cramped in your home; and you’ll also feel good about giving these items to people who need them and can actually use them.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”   Steve Maraboli

2) Pare down your activities.  An active life is good for you, but not if it leaves you feeling stressed and fatigued!  Most of us take on much more than necessary as far as obligations and even recreational activities are concerned.

Take a few minutes to think about the things you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  Do you really need to do all of them?  Have you taken on responsibilities that really aren’t yours?  Are you spending time on activities you no longer enjoy?  Make a list of at least a few activities or obligations that you can eliminate, and then go ahead and do so – even if you have to pare them down gradually.

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life” John C. Maxwell

3) Spend time in silence. There are times when you are so used to doing everything in a hurry that you don’t notice how fast-paced your life has become. A deceptively simple way to live a life of simplicity and ease is to shut out the mental and physical “noise” of your busy life on a regular basis.  Sitting in silence for just a few minutes can drastically reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling calm, centred and happy.

If you live near a park or natural setting, you can even boost the effectiveness of this activity by spending time in nature.  While not completely silent, natural settings have soothing sounds like running water, singing birds and wind sighing through trees – which automatically trigger feelings of peace and well-being. Find fulfilment in the simple things in life by spending time with friends, or building something with your own hands. Intrinsic rewards will improve your motivation and overall satisfaction with your life

“In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present, you are getting in tune with existence” Osho

4) Identify your values. Think about the things that are important to you that influence the way you act and ultimately the person you are. These are values. They are a guiding force in decision making. Identifying your values can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.

To identify your values, think about the times in your life when you were the happiest, most proud, most fulfilled and satisfied. Make a list and determine what you valued about those situations. Perhaps you value the creativity, adventure, loyalty and hard work each of these situations provided. Maybe you realize that you value your family the most. These will be a driving force in everything you do. If you want to live a simple, peaceful life, then you might value serenity, resourcefulness, stability, and health.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  Albert Einstein

5) Align your activities with your values. Take part in activities which are in harmony with your values and desire to live a simple life. You are more happy and satisfied when your activities are in line with your values. Refuse offers to events that conflict with your intent to live peacefully. Make a decision to live a value-driven life. When you know, what your core values are, you have an incredibly powerful tool to access your ‘sacred gift.’  By naming a value, you can quickly step into what that value means to you; what it really feels like when it’s present in your life.  And, you can use these feelings as energetic pointers when making decisions, big and small; decisions you know will lead you to a meaningful and happy life. This is what living a value-driven life is all about.

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things”

6) Live in the present moment.  As humans we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or about the future. We think about what was and what could have been. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The key to solving this problem is simplifying your thoughts and staying focused on what you are doing at that moment. You have to realize that the present time is all there ever was and probably will be. By doing visualization exercises to imagine yourself in a simple, peaceful, stress-free environment, and Engaging in conversation or exercise you will be able to help quiet your mind and stay focused in the present moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”  Eckhart Tolle

7) Practice empathy and compassion to create peace. Each human being exists within the context of interrelationships that include other human beings, all living beings and the natural world. The ability to appreciate someone else’s struggle is an important skill to develop. You know how you would like to be treated, so use that as a guide when trying to treat others. As Lou Holtz says: “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”. Practicing empathy and kindness is the core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behaviour – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Lee, Harper

When it comes right down to it, living a simple and peaceful life is about learning how to slow down, connect more deeply with your inner self and live a conscious life.  Whether you do that by simplifying your surroundings, calming your schedule or enjoying a quiet respite each day, the result is the same – having a simple yet meaningful life and a happier and more peaceful you!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  Aristotle


The Need of Deep Friendship Between People

The need of deep friendship between people, is an urgent need, one that has always been with human beings, as far back as historians can reach in their accounts of human life on this planet.

More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher wrote: “What is friendship? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”

In Apocrypha: Ecclesiastes 6:16 we find: “A faithful friend is the medicine of life”. Better than medicine, really. Medicine is for those already ill; friendship is basically for the well to enjoy, a joy to keep them well throughout their lifetime.

Life without friendship is like cereal without milk; there can be no sense of completion. Real friendship is subtle, trusting interrelationship whose worth is too great to be measured.

In the word of America’s first President, George Washington, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Another great President, Thomas Jefferson, once compared friendship to wine. Yes like good wine, friendship can give you a lift. Like wine, it lasts. Inclement conditions do not destroy it.

And as Jefferson points out, it is “restorative”; it renews a person wrestling with life’s problems, refreshing him so that, given a good night’s sleep, he can call once again upon his resources to go toward the battle of life.

It is sad that many of us become disappointed in the results of friendship that instead of enriching us they leave us wounded, causing us to think less of others and more of ourselves. We seldom think that perhaps we have been at fault. It usually seems to be the other person.

Friendship is not what we take from others, but what we give to others, not so much in material gifts as the gifts of compassion, sincerity, and understanding. It is instilling courage in someone else. It is the transfer of some of our self-respect to others. It is sharing of our confidence in ourselves with others. It is the gift of what we are to others.

“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage.” ~ Doe Zantamata

We must remember others, meeting them more than half way, giving the best that we are. Only in this way will we be entitled to receive friendship in return.

We must constantly work at repairing our friendship for others. And we must constantly work at repairing our friendship for ourselves. Because to be friendly to others we must be friendly to ourselves. We must always be ready to repair the damage which our failures inflict upon our self-image. We must rise above these failures to maintain our self-respect, which is basic to our respect for others.

“Love yourself first in order to endlessly love others.” ~ Debasish Mridha

Only then our friendship have true value. Only then can it be humble, free of boasting. Only when we respect ourselves can we feel the gift of humility, to others and to ourselves.

If you know the art of friendship, you stay alive. You put a smile of contentment on your self-image. You look forward, not backward. Every day is a new day in which you focus on life. You concentrate on your assets for the new day, refusing to let fear of failure side-track you.

You have foresight. You are a part of human family; you become what you are in relation to others. You expand in your capacity for love in a vast communal sense which incorporate the acceptance of human fallibility. You understand that your neighbour can make errors that distort his perspective; he can mistakenly feel that you are his enemy, not his friend. You forgive.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ~ Steve Maraboli

The whole world is looking for friendship. Everyone seeks forgiveness as ardently as he seeks food and shelter. Yet often we are ashamed to forgive as we are ashamed to make mistake, as if it were a terrible weakness to make mistake or forgive. But this shame destroys us, damages us. It is unhealthy to be ashamed of error in yourself and stubborn not to forgive error in someone else.

The capacity to forgive should be as great as the capacity to survive because you cannot attain true stature in living unless you make as much as habit of forgiving as of eating.

To really get alone with people requires the compassion of forgiveness. To err is human loss; to forgive is human achievement. But, first you must forgive yourself so that you can accept yourself as a human being, as somebody with dignity.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr